Gloomy start for Rajasthan BJP leaders

Gloomy start for Rajasthan BJP leaders

A pall of gloom descended over Rajasthan unit of the BJP soon after the swearing-in ceremony of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

The state had just one representative in the Union Cabinet, despite registering a clean sweep in the Lok Sabha polls. The central leadership’s decision came as a disappointment to the state leaders who fancied a place in the Modi ministry.

“It is strange that the state which created history by winning all the 25 (Lok Sabha) seats has only one MP in the council of ministers.  We were expecting at least one cabinet minister and two ministers of state (MoS) from Rajasthan,” said a senior BJP leader.

Since the results were out, those like Sawar Mal Jat, Dushyant Singh, Rajyavardhan Singh and Arjun Meghwal were regarded top ministerial contenders.

Sawar Mal Jat and Dushyant Singh in particular belong to Jat community that consistently found representation at the Centre both in the BJP and Congress dispensations.

With 20 per cent vote share in the state, Jats switched sides this time to vote for BJP, instead of Congress.

Rajyavardhan Rathore, the lone Rajput MP, is considered a youth icon in the party and is believed to have direct contact with Modi and Rajnath Singh.

There are reports that chief minister Vasundhara Raje is also upset over denial of ministerial berth to her son Dushyant.

The chief minister camped in Delhi for several days lobbying her son’s case, but the central leadership, finding itself in deadlock on the Dushyant issue, reportedly consulted former party chief and its confidant Om Mathur. The decision to make Nihal Chand a minister was taken after consultations, just hours before the swearing-in.

Local BJP leaders fear that the state’s under-representation at the Centre could have adverse impact in the forthcoming Panchayat and civic body elections.

At the local level, resentment is said to be looming among Jat, Rajput and other communities over BJP’s failure to accommodate their leaders.

Saffron leaders believe Congress is politicising the issue in an attempt to divide and polarise voters.

Raje’s failure to land a ministerial berth for Dushyant turned futile as Modi was firm in discouraging dynastic politics within his government. Modi is also believed to have made it clear that he would not like any interference in his plans.

The first standoff between Modi and Raje, after the chief minister was given a freehand in both Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, is a clear message that all BJP chief ministers have to work under Modi unconditionally.

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